One of my favorite acts of contrition is the shortest – not only because it's the shortest (though that doesn't hurt!), but because it's so neatly summarizes our need for forgiveness and God's desire to offer it. The prayer is in echoing of the words of the tax collector in one of Jesus' parables: "Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me, a sinner."
What is most edifying about this prayer is that it boils things down to the most basic of teachings: God's merciful love for us. From that forgiveness of our sins comes everything else.
No friendship can survive something hanging over it – events from the past, old hurts, current wounds, whatever. The Lord knows this better than anyone, and so His first order of business is mercy. This sums up pretty much all of salvation history.
Gods Divine Mercy is not the end goal, but rather the beginning. Once we have received and accepted that mercy, then our relationship can begin! Without the elephant in the room – our faults and failings – we and the Lord can begin actually being friends.
It boggles the mind a little, doesn't it, to think that we could be God's friends. Perhaps we recoil at the idea, not because we don't want that, but because it seems beyond us – we are unworthy and we know it!
And this is why celebrating God's Divine Mercy is so important. Because even as believers we constantly need to except and re-except His love. 'Jesus, I trust in you' – I trust that your mercy is real, your forgiveness is forever and that we can be friends. What a great joy to discover that we can indeed trust in Him!